Artist Profile: Chris Trevino (VIDEO)

By Ed Hardy:
I first met Chris Trevino when he and his then-partner, Shawn Degan, came to San Francisco in about 1992 to talk with me about getting some work done. He had not been tattooing very long at that time but Chris’ enthusiasm and ideas were off the charts… [Video and pictures on expanded page]


Pictures he showed me of his work were unlike anything I’d seen at the time, a free-flowing mix of unexpected juxtapositions of subject matter and style, all rendered boldly, freely, and with great humor. Obviously there was a pool of customers in Texas with highly original notions of what to wear as a tattoo, and these guys absolutely encouraged them and took the clients’ ideas many steps further.

Over the years Chris has stayed in touch on a regular basis. Along the way, he became more and more fixated on classic Japanese tattoo style and symbolism. At some point, perhaps ten years ago, he chose to work exclusively in that format. Since then he has obsessively pursued Japanese legends and tattoo styles, especially closely studying the work of the late Tokyo Horiyoshi II (Tamotsu Kuronuma) and Horiyoshi III of Yokohama (Yoshihito Nakano), probably the most important and globally influential living Japanese tattoo master.

Chris established connections in Japan and began commuting on a regular basis, I believe alternating months, between Osaka and Austin. He has developed epic work on clients in both places, as well as tattooing at a range of conventions every year. The sheer volume of large-scale Japanese-style body tattoos he has created, all replete with enormous detail, is probably unsurpassed. Every time he visits San Francisco and shows me his enormous album of recent work photos, I’m overwhelmed—it’s nearly impossible to take it all in. His energy and enthusiasm over the years have grown, if anything, and I am consistently concerned about him seriously damaging his health by keeping up such a demanding workload.

So far, he has proved unstoppable and seems likely to continue at this pace, pushing himself and his clients. This book will give some idea of the astounding realms Trevino has created, an extended and unique fusion of Texan and Japanese sensibilities that catapults 21st century tattooing into a unique realm.

(Ed Hardy’s introduction is from Chris Trevino’s book: Gods and Warriors)

(Click here to buy Gods and Warriors)

Chris Trevino can be found at Perfection Tattoo in Austin, TX.

(Chris is featured in Tattoo Artist Magazine Issue #11)

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